(Je·hoʹa·haz) [May Jehovah Take Hold; Jehovah Has Taken Hold].
1. Variant spelling of the name of Ahaziah, who succeeded his father Jehoram as king of Judah in the late tenth century B.C.E. (2Ch 21:16, 17; 22:1) This alternate spelling, also found in the Masoretic text at 2 Chronicles 25:23, simply transposes the divine name to serve as the prefix instead of the suffix. Once this king of Judah is called Azariah.—2Ch 22:6b; see AHAZIAH No. 2.
2. Son and successor of King Jehu as king of Israel. For 17 years Jehoahaz reigned, from 876 to about 860 B.C.E. (2Ki 10:35; 13:1) When he succeeded his father to the throne, much of the realm was controlled by Syrian King Hazael of Damascus, who had seized from Jehu all of Israel’s territory E of the Jordan River. (2Ki 10:32-34) And because Jehoahaz did what was bad in Jehovah’s eyes, God allowed Hazael to continue to oppress Israel all the days of Jehoahaz, reducing his fighting force to a mere 50 horsemen, 10 chariots, and 10,000 foot soldiers. Finally, Jehoahaz sought Jehovah’s favor, and because of the covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Jehovah did not allow Syria to bring Israel completely to ruin. (2Ki 13:2-7, 22, 23) Upon his death Jehoahaz was buried in Samaria and was succeeded on the throne by his son Jehoash.—2Ki 13:8, 9; 2Ch 25:17.
3. Son and successor of Josiah as king of Judah. His mother’s name was Hamutal. (2Ki 23:31) Ezra and Jeremiah, according to certain manuscripts, call him Shallum, which some suggest may have been his name prior to his accession to the throne. (1Ch 3:15; Jer 22:11) After the death of his father at the hands of Pharaoh Nechoh of Egypt, Jehoahaz (though not the oldest of Josiah’s living sons) was apparently the people’s choice as successor to the throne. (2Ki 23:29, 30) In 2 Chronicles 36:2, where this same event is mentioned, certain translations (AS, AT, JP, Ro) have the shortened form Joahaz for Jehoahaz.—See JOAHAZ No. 3.
Jehoahaz was 23 years old when made king, and he ruled badly for three months in the early part of the year 628 B.C.E., until he was imprisoned at Riblah by Pharaoh. Later he was taken to Egypt, where he died in captivity, just as the prophet Jeremiah had foretold.—2Ki 23:31-34; Jer 22:10-12.